In 2017, Paranoid Void delivered a critical hit to the math rock community with their visionary debut Literary Math. The Osaka trio’s brisk, funky breakdowns and succinct melodic style showed they could compete with contemporaries like LITE, Tricot and 3nd while bringing a stylish energy to the table that kept everybody guessing.
After premiering their latest single “Masayume,” we were lucky enough to get an advance copy of the whole record, and we were blown away by what we heard. The dynamic switchbacks, pedal-play, and tempo changes that had us so invested in the debut are all here, but Travels in my Universe surprised us in a number of ways. Paranoid Void explore glistening new worlds on songs like “#dream” and “Nowhere,” channeling dreamy chip-tune and electronic influences. There’s a sense of wonder and excitement in so many of the textures, it’s like you’re discovering them, living in them with the band.
This feeling is also established by the fact that, despite how tight the album is, there is a general sense of ease to it. There’s nothing terribly chaotic, if anything the album somehow tips the scale in the other direction while still remaining highly energetic on songs like the strobes-esque “James vu” and “The end of the travel, the beginning of the world.” The chirping Nintendo noises amidst the cavernous guitars brings to mind a totally different set of influences than their debut. The frenetic playing isn’t all gone though – check out “Another World,” for instance, where the band mixes the album’s futuristic style with the fire of Literary Math.
One thing we really appreciate is that rather than travel the well lit road of post-rock, the band uses Travels in my Universe to display a totally different side of the band, and forge a unique path forward for themselves. One thing we noted is that compared to their debut, we don’t have any vocals here, which helps solidify the feeling the Paranoid Void are more focused following their own artistic vision than anyone else’s. With results like this, we are not going to argue.
Although we try to avoid things like saying a record or band ‘changed the game,’ particularly when covering things the early stages, it’s going to be interesting to see where we are in another five years, analyzing whether or not Travels in my Universe had the staying power and influence of Literary Math. But after a month of blasting it in our car, we’re pretty sure it does.
We’re not just saying it, this record and standards have been stuck in our heads for at least a month. We’re not complaining though. Anyway, we’ve got stuff from Closure in Moscow, SEIMS, Teen Prime, People Food, and more. Check out the Paranoid Void website here and keep us chemically dependent on the vile drug known as caffeine here. Talk soon!